Western Africa's marine ecosystems are suffering irreversible damage destroying the livelihoods of more and more coastal dwellers. The scale of this overfishing challenge has not yet entered the collective consciousness.


That has to change!

Marine ecosystems are being systematically impoverished through unsustainable fishing practices. The illustration to the right shows this impoverishment very graphically (Courtesy D. Pauly). This phenomenon was first described in a scientific article by D. Pauly et al., in the Journal Science 'Fishing down marine food webs' (No. 279:860-863, 1998).

With the productivity of ecosystems goes the livelihoods of people living of them. European international science cooperation and development projects have long addressed these issues, but have not always reached beyond the specialists and people directly involved. However, the wider effects are being felt well beyond the coastal fishing towns in West Africa and, for that matter, in Europe. 

In order to draw attention to this plight of coastal people and their ecosystems, a group of concerned people from within and outside the European institutions created the Mundus maris initiative combining sciences and arts for sustainable seas and communities. Engaging schools and young people in Europe and West Africa, they promote innovative approaches to building a better future together.

Lunch-time Conference at the Infopoint of the European Commission's External Relations, Rue de la Loi 41, 28/01/2010 - 13 - 14h.

See the poster announcement here.